I am a visual artist living and working in Cambridge. I use a variety of fibres, mixed media and found objects to make work in which I seek to record my experience of the landscapes and archaeology of British islands. In 2005 I was a resident artist in the Shetland Islands and since that time my work has been almost exclusively focused on Shetland. Memory and the importance of place are recurring themes in my current work.
Walking, drawing and photography are fundamental to my practice. The textile work is constructed by felting together the natural tones of Shetland wool with coloured silk fibres. Fragments of photographs, stitching and wire are added to the surface.
I became interested in Shetland lace knitting after seeing examples in the Shetland Museum in Lerwick. I worked with a technician at Shetland College to produce a contemporary version of lace knitting on an industrial knitting machine using my own designs. The subsequent work reflects the strong knitting tradition of the North Isles.
Although I continue to make work which relates to the prehistoric archaeology of Shetland I have recently become interested in the military remains on the Islands, in particular, those on Unst, the most northerly of the islands which has extensive remains of defence installations dating from both WWII and the Cold War. This has resulted in a number of works based on Lamba Ness RAF station and the Saxa Vord radar facility.
Most of my work relates to memories of specific walks and places. Found objects are important in this regard, for instance I have created work which incorporates fragments of coloured plastic washed up on Scousborough Sands in Shetland after a winter storm. I have wrapped these with silver wire and coloured strands from fishing nets, also recovered from the beach, to make a series of ‘bruck’ pieces.
‘bruck’ = ‘rubbish’ in Shetland dialect.